Wall Tie Installers Federation

We are the representative trade organisation for registered installers of remedial and replacement wall ties and related services in the UK with a 25 Year insurance backed Warranty Scheme.

Most registered installers also offer the ancillary services of lateral restraints and bed-joint reinforcement, all carried out in conformity with the recommendations of the Building Research Establishment.

Welcome to the WTIF website

We are the representative trade organisation for registered installers of remedial and replacement wall ties and related services in the UK.

Most registered installers also offer the ancillary services of lateral restraints and bed-joint reinforcement, all carried out in conformity with the recommendations of the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

Most registered installers also offer the ancillary services of lateral restraints and bed-joint reinforcement, all carried out in conformity with the recommendations of the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

The Federation is nationally recognised as the accepted reference point for professional bodies along with private individuals seeking information or guidance on these subjects.

The Wall Tie Installers Federation was formed in 1989 to ensure members work to a strict code of practice and the BRE standards.

It introduced a 25-Year insurance-backed Warranty scheme for its full members to give peace of mind to their customers. It is a Federation of members and does not distribute any surpluses the company makes.

Home-Owners & Wall-Ties

The majority of homes built in the last hundred years consists of cavity wall construction. This means that there are inner and outer walls (known as leaves) linked together with wall ties. This method gives a warmer and drier home compared to the older solid brick construction.

However unless the ties consist of stainless steel or steel which has been very heavily galvanised, there is a tendency for the ties to rust and making the wall less secure. This corrosion can lead to problematic issues such as bowing of the brickwork and could ultimately lead to the demolition of the wall. Rectifying problems such as this can be very costly. Mild steel wall ties have a shorter life span than brickwork and may need replacing before major repair work is necessary.

Most houses built since the 1980's have been constructed of stainless steel, alloy, heavily galvanised steel or other non-corroding materials to avoid corrosion and the above problems. Houses built before 1980 may need an inspection to clarify the materials used and their present state of corrosion, if any.

This is where the The Wall Tie Installers Federation can help.

If you need an inspection, we can help you select one of our Registered Installers to inspect your property and, if required, carry out the necessary wall tie remedial work. Our Installers are experienced in both the diagnosis and remedial treatment of wall ties along with any ancillary work that is required. Once the wall-tie work has been completed, an insured 25 year Warranty can be applied for from the Federation. Ask our Registered Installer about the warranty when the property is being inspected.

Our Warranties cover the property and if the property concerned is sold before the warranty expires, the unexpired term of the warranty can be transferred to the buyer, by simply passing the original Guarantee certificate to the new owner. This ensures peace of mind with regards to the wall tie repair work undertaken.

Use the 'Find an Installer' facility to query the Registered Installer database. Enter your postcode to find a WTIF Registered Installer active in your area.

If you are considering a house-purchase, a wall tie survey by a Registered Installer should certainly be considered in your preliminary investigations before making an offer. In some areas it may be required as a precondition of a loan.

The WTIF 25 Year Warranty

The WTIF Warranty Scheme can be offered by any full member of the Federation. It guarantees the wall tie work of the member for a period of twenty-five years. Each individual warranty covers a single building or identified elevations of a building (part-elevations are not covered due to the effect that ties in the untreated part may have on the treated work if they fail.)

The warranty also covers the replacement ties and any ancillary work included as part of the contract, e.g. repointing, brick reinforcement etc. Furthermore it covers materials and workmanship.

The warranty is issued jointly by the member and by the Federation and also indemnifies the member against a claim for professional negligence (e.g. the choice of tie, advice given about the contract).

The Wall Tie Installers Federation carries annual product guarantee insurance which indemnifies the Federation and named installers in respect of liability arising under the guarantees issued.

The W.T.I.F. Warranty is:

  • Independent of manufacturer or installer
  • Fully insurance backed
  • Covers all aspects of the work
  • Fully transferable to any new owner of the building

This guarantee indemnifies the customer for a period of twenty-five years up to a limit of £100,000. This covers costs of removal, repair, alteration, treatment of any product which fails to perform the function for which it was manufactured, designed, sold, supplied, installed, repaired, altered, dispatched, or delivered on behalf on the installer. The definition of the term 'product' means not only the wall tie itself, but also the workmanship of the installer.

This guarantee is backed up by an annual product guarantee insurance policy, which indemnifies the Federation up to an aggregate limit of £100,000 per member in respect of its liabilities under this guarantee, (This insurance being arranged with first class security in the London Market)

Claims Procedure

In the event of a claim, please contact the Wall Tie Installers Federation immediately with the following information:

  • Property Address
  • WTIF Guarantee Number and date issued
  • Details (with evidence, if available) of why a potential claim is being made under the Guarantee.

Further information regarding the claims process will then be given.

Please note, the original WTIF Guarantee Certificate may need to be produced for inspection during the claims process.

Landlords

Wall-Tie Advisory Service
The Wall Tie Installers Federation can, via its members, provide landlords with guidance on wall tie replacement and associated works to professional staff tasked with drawing up remedial programmes in housing schemes.

Housing Stock Maintenance Scheduling
We can provide a service, in conjunction with registered installers, for integrating wall tie replacement into regular maintenance programmes. This minimises disturbance to the building fabric and disruption of schedules.

Housing Stock Appraisal Scheme
Our members can provide an inspection, report and advisory scheme for bulk appraisal of property already in ownership, or before being taken into ownership with a view to anticipating and minimising future wall tie liabilities. Our experience in this field and that of our registered installers, enables large-scale owners to assess future provision and integrate any work required into forthcoming work programmes so as to minimise duplication of effort and consequent unnecessary expenditure.

If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, then please contact us.

Wall Tie Replacement

Why a Cavity Wall?
Cavity walls incorporating metal ties have been in use since the 19th century. They are common in dwellings built in the early part of the 20th century and large numbers of such houses were built during the building boom of the 1930's. Since 1950 the cavity wall has become the standard form of construction for housing and buildings of a similar scale. The purpose of cavity construction is to improve the weather resistance of the traditional nine inch masonry wall by splitting it into two leaves of 4½ inch brick, linked with metal ties. The floor- and roof-loads are carried on the inner leaf, the outer leaf is simply a weatherproof skin while the ties contribute to the stability by improving what engineers refer to as the 'slenderness ratio'.

How do you recognise a cavity wall?
By looking at the pattern or "bond" of the bricks. If all the bricks are laid with the long edges ('stretchers') facing you, the wall is probably a cavity wall. If alternate bricks are laid with the short edge ('header') facing you, the wall is probably a solid wall; 'headers' are used in this way to increase the strength and stability of the masonry.

Of course, if the wall is rendered or plastered and the bond cannot be seen then the easiest way to test its construction is to drill a small hole through the outer face to a depth of some 5½ inches. If no cavity is found in this way the wall is probably solid. This will be confirmed by checking the wall thickness at door openings or window reveals. A cavity wall measures 10½ or 11 inches (depending on the cavity width) a solid wall 9 or 13½ inches (depending on the number of bricks in depth.

How it Works
Structurally, the cavity wall is a load sharing system with ties laid out in a uniform spacing pattern: a diamond formation with ties at 900mm centres in courses set 450mm apart. At door and window openings the spacing is reduced to 300mm vertically.

This spacing is most important where cavity walls are most vulnerable: in small areas of brickwork between openings and in large un-reinforced areas in exposed positions such as gables, where, in the absence of the lateral restraints nowadays required in housing, the walling derives no restraint from the junction with the roof. The chief danger in these positions is from wind suction which, on the leeward side of a building, can exert considerable force which the brickwork, strong in compression but weak in tension, cannot withstand without effective ties at the correct spacing.

The Wall Ties
Although ties in bronze, cast iron and slate are sometimes seen, the commonest material for tie manufacture is mild steel and the commonest manufactured forms are the fishtail or vertical twist ties (either galvanised or bitumen coated) and the galvanised butterfly wire tie.

All mild-steel ties are susceptible to corrosion over time, as the Building Research Establishment has pointed out in its publications, particularly Digests 329 and 401. Because the service life of the masonry is much longer than that of the mild steel it follows that at some point in its life the wall may need replacement of the ties.

Tie Corrosion
The process of corrosion of mild steel causes expansion of the ties because the metallic oxide occupies a greater volume than the pure metal did. This expansion has the effect of forcing apart the bricks above and below the bed joints in which the ties are laid, producing a pattern of horizontal cracks coinciding with the tie positions approximately every six courses. In fair-faced brickwork this will frequently have been re-pointed in the past, resulting in thicker bed joints at regular intervals. There may be some associated diagonal cracking.

Because of their light weight the corrosion of butterfly wire ties produces almost no detectable external symptoms. The tie can corrode right through without producing any evidence on the outside of the building of what is happening. But fishtail and vertical twist ties with their greater bulk of metal, do produce sufficient volume expansion in corrosion to cause a visible splitting of the mortar bed in which they are fixed.

Remedial Treatment
The remedy for wall tie corrosion is straightforward: identify the positions of existing ties; install replacement ties in positions staggered from the originals at the appropriate tie density of 2.5 per sq. meter and treat the old ties to prevent any further damage from expansive corrosion. Installing replacement ties alone will restore structural stability but will still leave the masonry prone to damage by expansive corrosion. Except in the case of some thin butterfly wire ties, remedial treatment of the existing ties is essential for a complete repair.

Ancillary Work
In the course of remedial work it is usually possible to bring older buildings up to modern standards with the use of lateral restraints to secure floors and roofs to the masonry. Proprietary systems are available through most registered installers as are systems for bed joint reinforcement outlined in Building Research Establishment Good Building Guides 29 and 62.

Repointing of the masonry too will enhance its stability and should be considered as part of the work.

Becoming a Member

Full Membership

Registered installers subscribe to a code of practice based on BRE Digests 329 and 401 and the Federation's own rules. Becoming a WTIF registered installer confers significant benefits on companies/individuals engaged in wall tie work. The Certitude of membership together with adherence to BRE standards offers reassurance to prospective customers on the quality of work.

The availability of the WTIF warranty on completed work provides long term security on work, which, by its nature, is not visible to the customer. The warranty is issued jointly by the member and the Federation and gives the property owner peace of mind for 25 years.

The Member's register is published on this site from which prospective customers can select registered installers for work. Installers report helpful volumes of work from this source whilst the web presence also reassures customers about the bona fides of installers who might otherwise be just a name in a directory.

In addition to these benefits, registered installers are also represented at national level in matters such as health and safety, vocational qualifications etc. The Federation is recognised in most technological channels including, of course, the internet. To find us just enter the phrase 'wall tie installers' into the Google search engine and you will come across our website. The warranties that we issue are widely recognised by local authorities, housing associations and mortgage lenders. Furthermore, the recognition we are proud to hold, transfers readily to registered installers who make full use of the Federation's logo and promotional literature.

Installers wishing to join and become Full members of the Federation should contact the Federation's Head Office to obtain and complete two forms:

  • A Membership application
  • An Insurance application

These, once completed, should be forwarded to our head office at Heald House, Head Street, Liverpool L19 2LY together with the Federation's application fee and any other requested documentation. An Initial assessment of the application will be made and the applicant contacted by a member of our management team.

After this an inspection appointment or appropriate training course(s) may need to be arranged and successfully completed during the application process which is subject to continuous assessment during it and afterwards. All members are subject to regular visits / inspections to ensure that they continue to meet the Wall Tie Installers Federation quality standards and continued membership is subject to maintaining these standards.

Finally, we encourage installers to make use of our logo in their promotional material and on their vehicles (purpose bromides and van decals are available.

Please for further details.

Associate Membership

Associate Membership is available to companies/individuals who only undertake independent Surveys for their clients and do not participate in the actual work specified in their reports. The application process is similar to that of the Full Member.

Please for further details.

Training and the CITB

The Wall Tie Installers Federation (WTIF) holds training courses on wall tie surveying and remedial work.

The 2 day Surveying Course includes the following:

  • Surveying
  • Equipment
  • Health & Safety
  • Risk Assessment
  • Report writing
  • Pricing
  • Problem Solving
  • Contract management
  • Practical demonstrations and 'hands-on' advice from an experienced installer

 

The second day is combined with the 1 day Operatives Course which includes:

  • Installation patterns of new ties
  • Treatment of existing ties
  • Equipment
  • Pull out testing
  • Health & Safety
  • Risk Assessment
  • Site Control
  • Form completion
  • Practical demonstrations and 'hands-on' advice from an experienced installer

Both the Surveyors course and Operatives course are held on a regular basis in Liverpool with additional courses being held, subject to demand.

Adhoc personally arranged courses can be undertaken for individual members or for new members subject to availability and at an additional cost.

Please for further details.

Details of Courses

2 Day Surveyors Course
Next Course Date 13 - 14 March 2017   
Future Course Dates   6 - 7 November 2017
23 - 24 April 2018   
Cost Per Person
Federation Member£395
Non-Federation Member £510
1 Day Operatives Course
Next Course Date 14 March 2017   
Future Course Dates   7 November 2017
24 April 2018   
Cost Per Person
Federation Member£195
Non-Federation Member £305

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Background

The CITB is the Industry Training Board, formed in 1964 and responsible for training in a number of UK industries, setting standards and providing advice to firms. The WTIF are pleased to work with the CITB to ensure high training standards within the wall tie industry.

The CITB collects a levy from construction employers and can use this to support training and skills in construction. It is devoted to building competitive advantage for the construction industry and the people who work in it.

For further information:

Training Grants and Levy

The CITB uses some of their Construction Levy funding to support their registered employers with training grants, however some registered employers may not be required to pay this levy.

Grants may be available from the CITB towards the costs of the WTIF training courses.

Full details are available here:

VQs

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are the most popular qualifications used in the construction industry.

The qualifications are based on National Occupational Standards and reflect the competencies required in a range of occupations.

Employers and Experienced Employees like the format as the VQs can be achieved whilst working on site with time away from site only being required if training is identified by the Assessor.

The Learner achieves a VQ by building a portfolio of work based evidence and being available for between 2-3 visits by an occupationally competent Assessor who completes the VQ process.

The CITB run the Cskills Awards and works with approved training and assessment centres to enable candidates to achieve their personal development goals.

Here's a link where you can find further information:

For further information please or CITB at the CITB.

CSCS Cards

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS Card) confirms that the worker has the correct training and qualifications for the type of work they carry out.

Many principal contractors and major house builders require construction workers on their sites to hold a valid CSCS card.

For further details about the level 2 S/NVQ CSCS card for Cavity Wall Tie Replacement Operatives and the CITB Health, Safety and Environmental test, please visit this link:

Other Courses

For information on other appropriate courses for wall tie installers, such as Health and Safety, First Aid Training and Working at Heights etc, please at the WTIF.

CITB offer a range of training programmes for crafts people, supervisors and managers.

For more information, please use this link:

The CITB run the Positive Image campaign to promote the variety of careers available in construction and to encourage a constant flow of talent into the industry.

Sources of further information:

National Specialist Training

The CITB provides the construction industry with minority specialist training and assessment that traditional, mainstream colleges and training centres are unable to offer.

Find out more here:

Publications

The CITB have a range of publications on the construction industry:

News

Are you up to date with the new Pension Regulations being phased in and affecting all employers? For further information, contact the Pensions Regulator.

Training News from Members

We have already had enquiries for 5 placements on this renewed qualification.

Contacts

For further information on the CITB above help and support for construction, please follow this link:

For further information on VQ assessment then please contact either or CITB, Head Office at the CITB (0344 994 4400).

For specific WTIF wall tie training courses, please at the WTIF.

Health and Safety: if you're on the move and want to get your construction phase plan sorted quickly, why not download CITB's free CDM Wizard App? Click the link below for more details:

The Scottish Government Learning Directorate sponsor the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

More information on this here:

How to Contact Us

 
site by macdigital